10. Mar, 2017

World Sleep Day 17 March 2017

The 2017 World Sleep Day slogan is, “Sleep Soundly, Nurture Life.” This focus is purposefully broad in meaning, surrounding the message that quality of life with a sleep disorder can be improved, but recognition of sleep’s importance for overall health and well-being must come first. Though most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help.

Sleep Impacting Disease

Sleep has a health impact on the prevalence of natural diseases. Current research suggests stroke and heart failure are more prevalent in people living with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). World Sleep Day aims to inform the world about the importance of treating even mild sleep disorders. Individuals who struggle to get an entire night’s sleep without any interruptions experience higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses.

Sleep Impacting Psychological Disorders

Studies have shown that people with poor quality sleep suffer from more symptoms of anxiety and depression than people without poor quality sleep. Research has also revealed that individuals with depression experienced lower quality sleep than those with no history of depression. Research is underway to better understand the link between sleep quality and mental health.

General FACTS

  • Consistently sleeping for more than nine hours or fewer than eight hours a day has a negative impact on physiological, psychological and cognitive functions.
  • Breathing regularly during sleep is critical to maintain well-being and health. Persistent interruption of the breathing function during sleep is called sleep apnea. This is a pervasive and common disorder that affects 4% of men and 2% of women.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue and significantly impacts health and well-being. The drop in oxygen that occurs when breathing stops puts a strain on the heart and can lead to a number of serious health conditions including hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is known to have a significant negative impact on our health in the long and short term. Next day effects of poor quality sleep include a negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning. Longer term effects are being studied, but poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation has been associated with significant health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, weakened immune systems and even some cancer.
  • Lack of sleep is related to many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis.
  • Quality sleep is crucial to ensure good health and quality of life.
  • Three elements of good quality sleep are:
    • Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.
    • Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation.
    • Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative.

Known Consequences: Some Statistics

  • A US study has estimated the annual costs of insomnia to be between $92.5 billion and $107.5 billion. The annual economic burden of undiagnosed sleep apnea among U.S. adults is approximately $149.6 billion.
  • Patients with Idiopathic Hypersomnia and Narcolepsy have twice as many total annual medication transactions and an overall significantly higher average of medical services costs than those without the sleep disorders.
  • Because of the severity of Idiopathic Hypersomnia and Narcolepsy, patients also often bear indirect costs related to their increased risk of accidents, higher likelihood of unemployment, and loss of academic opportunities.
  • The most common and most destructive symptom of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is sleep disturbance. More than two-thirds of RLS patients experience serious insomnia, waking up several times per night is typical for RLS patients. RLS also disrupts rest during waking hours, such as when the patient is sitting or relaxing. Thus, whether awake or asleep, patients with RLS find little opportunity for the general restorative behaviours necessary for healthy human functioning, resulting in high rates of comorbidities including depression, anxiety, and hypertension.
  • 71,000 people suffer injuries every year due to sleep-related accidents.
  • 1,550 people die because of sleep-related accidents.

If you suffer from poor quality/disturbed sleep, wake up feeling unrefreshed or have trouble staying awaking during the day see your doctor, you may have a sleep disorder. Many sleep disturbances and sleep disorders can be managed with the right treatment and perhaps sensible lifestyle adjustments.